A Unique Automatic Wear Shape Classifier and Particle Counter

Spectro, Inc. QinetiQ North America

Analyzing particles in clean hydraulic fluids is easy and can be accomplished with most of today's standard particle counters. On the other hand, analyzing dark fluids that are highly contaminated with soot and particles has always been a challenge. Today, however, the uniqueness of the LaserNet Fine's design makes it possible to see through and analyze even these heavily sooted and highly contaminated fluids. The unit was developed by Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems and combines the standard oil anlaysis technique of particle counting with automatic wear particle classification and soot measurement. In addition, the unit detects and measures the presence of free water droplets greater than 20 µm.


The LNF from Spectro Incorporated/ QinetiQ North America uses direct laser imaging techniques and advanced imaging processing software to identify the rate of production and severity of mechanical faults by measuring the size distribution and shape of wear particles in lubricant fluids.


The LNF is like an automated microscope that captures the silhouette images of particles in oil flowing through a 100 µm thick flow cell. Images are analyzed for maximum size and several shape characteristics which are used to classify particle into mechanical wear classes. All of this is done automatically without the need of an expert.


A neural net software trained to an extensive library of particles, classified by human experts using ferrography and microscopy, forms the basis of this instrument. As a particle counter it counts particle from 4 up to greater than 100 µm. It simultaneously provides trend information of the production of fatigue, severe sliding and cutting particles as well as identifying nonmetallic, fibers, water droplets and air bubbles. 


There are hundreds of satisfied end users worldwide in multiple segments such as mining, petrochemical, military, pulp and paper, transportation, industrial laboratories, engine testing and power generation. For further technical details, to request a demonstration or quotation, click here or e-mail sales@spectroinc.com.

Subscribe to Machinery Lubrication